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Just watched the Pakistani (I cannot say Lollywood seriously) movie Khuda Ke Liye, which deals with both religious extremism and racial profiling. I didn't like it as much as I was expecting to. There were parts where the acting was awful (pretty much all the England scenes), some of the casting was questionable, and the script could've been tightened considerably. Also, I didn't like the scenes where Mansoor was detained in an American prison, because they felt exaggerated and unrealistic. What's happening is already so awful, the way the US is imprisoning and torturing individuals it decides are terrorists. There is no need to present it as even worse - doing so belittles the gravity of the situation, makes reality seem okay.

That said, I really liked a couple of the songs on the soundtrack.

Mahi Vay
The spoken words BUG ME. The only time they ever work for me is in hip-hop or R&B. In songs like this they're distracting; if I wanted to listen to poetry I would read it (and the lyrics would be a lot more meaningful than these). That said, I love the production, and the last minute and half of the song got to me in a way I can't even explain. One of those things that makes my skin tighten and toes curl; I've listened to this song over & over again and I still don't know why.

Allah Hoo
The beginning reminds me of the Muslim call for prayer, and the singer's voice is resonant and gorgeous. I also like the way its produced, the beats that kick in after the first minute, how trance-like the production becomes.

This is one of my favorite songs ever, from a movie that was released a few years ago whose name I can't remember:

Kailash Kher - Allah Ke Bande

Minimal production, just the singer and a guitar. The singer's voice is so raw, and the lyrics are amazing. The imagery slays me. An angel whose wings have been torn and broken, laughing while he falls. It should be depressing, but the melody, Kailash Kher's voice - it soars, even when he's singing girta hua woh asmaan se/aakar gira zameen par (falling from the sky/falling to the ground), and near the end it sounds more like a celebration than anything else.

Allah Ke Bande (Allah's People)

an angel so broken
that he couldn't be put together again
who robbed him like this
that he couldn't ever fly again

falling from the sky
falling to the ground
still in his heart there were only clouds
still he kept on saying -

Allah's people laugh, Allah's people laugh
whatever happens, tomorrow will come again

he learned to fly only after losing his wings
keep your sorrow with you, even pain will come in useful

Allah's people laugh, Allah's people laugh
whatever happens, tomorrow will come again

when he broke
all his dreams shattered into pieces
it is only in these shattered pieces
that you find the meaning of Allah's will

Allah's people laugh, Allah's people laugh
whatever happens, tomorrow will come again

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